Today we explored narrative structure, analysing different narrative forms and approaches to story, plot and narrator.
As our weekly premise exercise we were tasked with posting a short conclusion to a story, which we could use to reverse engineer a narrative. My submission was “…And she devoured every last one of them.” I picked this wording very carefully, trying to give enough to create a vivid image in the reader’s mind, but leave it vague to allow for a variety of interpretations.
I pitched this to my group and asked what they pictured. The responses were images of a dark, malevolent woman, maybe in a fantasy setting, or someone sitting down to a nice meal. If I’m remembering correctly, I think there was a mention of Hannibal Lecter too.
For me, it conjured up the image of a towering Vampiress and a mob of angry villagers storming her castle.
This process made me think of narratives which attempt the inverse, in providing a clear narrative without a definitive conclusion. Works such as the films of the Coen Brothers, namely Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) and its cyclical narrative, where the viewer is left wondering if the beginning was the end or the end was the beginning.